A recent increase in the death rate from stroke resulted in more than 32,000 more deaths than would have occurred had the previous long-term decline continued, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The overall age-standardized stroke death rate among adults aged 35 years and older declined from 118.4 per 100,000 in 2000 to 73.3 per 100,000 in 2015, for an average annual percent change of –3.1%. That long-term rate, however, includes a more recent, but statistically nonsignificant, increase of 2.5% a year in 2013-2015, which produced an estimated 32,593 excess deaths based on the previous rate of decline, the CDC investigators said (MMWR 2017 Sep 6;66[early release]:1-7).
The previous “trend segments,” representing the period from 2000 to 2013, had annual percent changes of –3.4% in 2000-2003, –6.6% in 2003-2006, and –3.1% in 2006-2013, they reported.
“Reasons for the slowing, stalling, and reversing in declines in stroke death rates are not clear. … Recent studies have reported that younger adults have experienced a significant increase in both stroke hospitalizations and in associated stroke risk factors (e.g., hypertension, obesity, diabetes, lipid disorder, and tobacco use). … These changes in modifiable stroke risk factors might present new challenges for stroke prevention and for maintaining a sustained decline in stroke mortality in the United States,” the investigators wrote.